Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cousin Time!

One of the very best parts of our WDW trip
was that my sister and her daughter
were able to join us for a few days!
Grace is 2-1/2 years older than Maddy and very, very cool!
She recently turned 16 - old enough to drive!

1st Disney trip together (Maddy was 5 and Grace was 7)
Cousins are the best!
Even though these two don't get to see each other often,
they love getting together - especially on vacation!

Grace 16 and Maddy 13
It  might be true that they got a teensy bit tired
of our many attempts to get their photos!
But, seriously,
isn't Disney all about the photos???

Magic Kingdom!

Next time, we're hoping to get to a character breakfast
with Grace and Amy.
I can see Grace rolling her eyes already!

Thanks for meeting us Amy and Grace!
Let's start planning another adventure soon!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cool Pool Time at WDW

Who doesn't love some relaxing time at the pool??

While we thoroughly enjoyed the rides and 
the parks and the characters, the temps were
rather toasty warm in Orlando!
So, we also enjoyed 
some pool time!

Miss M loved the lazy river pool!
She talked me into getting in too - which was loads
of fun . . . 
until I tried to get out!
Holy cow, it was a little tricky to get myself 
out of that tube!  
I had to maneuver myself through the 
inner tubes full of laughing kids, 
over to the stairs and catch a railing to pull myself out!
Guess my flexibility and strength training both need to be ramped up a bit!
Hiding my hair under a hat -- an everyday occurrence at WDW!
Our schedule most days was to head to the parks early
and then back for some cooling off and rest time
before evening activities started!

It was perfect!
We miss Disney World already!

The view from our balcony!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Such Characters -- WDW Part 2

One of the things we love to do 
at Disney World is to
see the characters!

When we first visited when Maddy was little, it was 
all about the princesses -- we still like them, of course,
but really enjoy some of the other characters too!

We arranged for a breakfast at the Crystal Palace - 
located just across from the castle!
Love that place and if you make your reservation early enough,
you get in to the park before it actually opens!

Our absolutely favorite characters make
appearances at the breakfast and stop at each table.
One of the other reasons I love this place is that you are not rushed in and out -
you can take your sweet time and enjoy that breakfast buffet
over and over . . . 
 not saying we did that though --
 oh yes, we did!  ;)
Connor was able to join us for a couple days --he loves the characters too! :)

Character meet and greets are here and there 
throughout the park and we kept our eyes
and iPhones busy checking on 
when and where to find a character or two!

Yes, we did go on a few rides here and there too!
Old favorites like Dumbo and It's a  Small World and  
a  new favorite - the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!
What a fun and fast roller-coaster!!
Hold-on tight!  :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Magical Trip!

Hello Friends!

When I last posted, Maddy had just
finished 7th grade! Yay!
After celebrating another rainy weekend in Nebraska, 
we made a mad rush after Memorial Day to
pack and head out to the most magical and
happiest place on earth!

Yes, we visited Walt Disney World!
When we've gone before,
it's been over Easter break, so we went a bit later this year.

Visiting at a non-holiday was a little different.
It was hotter during this time period,
 but less crowded than at Easter.

Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella

We had so much fun!

Since this is basically our family scrapbook, I'll be
posting all about our trip, so hope I don't bore you all.

I'm a lucky Mom-- even though she's a teenager,
Maddy loves the magic of Disney, 
the characters, the rides, the shopping!

It was a magical trip!
Stay tuned!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Bye Bye 7th Grade!

Happy to report Miss Maddy 
had a successful end to 7th grade!

Let me tell you, 7th grade was hard!
Lots of hard homework and outside projects to be completed.
Early morning choir practice,
ukulele lessons and some sports practices
made for some busy weeks!

Maddy and Maia -- Last day of 7th grade

She's a super hard worker and always
worked on her homework as soon
as she got home from school.
I've never been one to believe in 
staying up late to do

I must admit the math seemed super tricky this year
and great news . . . 
the math
teacher said it's even harder in 8th grade!
We're not even going to think about that now!

And now we're ready for summer -- if
only the weather would agree and 
it would stop raining for a day or two!
You know how much I whine report on the weather in 
the winter, well, we've had just under 11 inches of rain in May alone!
Way tooo much rain!

Still finalizing summer activities for M, but
there will be some cheer camps, zoo crew, ukulele and
maybe a trip or two.
Stay tuned!  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sing, Sing a Song!

Last week Miss Maddy had her last choir concert
as a 7th grader.

After the concert -- Zozo, Maia, Maddy, Gracie
The concert included our Catholic High School
choir and was a benefit for St. Jude's Hospital.
It was so beautiful and hearing their
lovely voices was such
an incredible treat!
All the extra time
and early morning choir practices
paid off!

Bonus for the girls (and boys too) - they were allowed
to wear something besides their uniforms!
No plaid skirts required for the girls!
The girls loved being able to dress up a little.

Gracie and Maddy -- friends since kindergarten!
Maddy and her friend had the same dress though
different colors --
they thought that was so cool!

Maddy and Skyler

One boy evidently didn't get the memo about the requirement
for boys to wear dress pants, long sleeve shirt and a tie as
he showed up in cargo shorts and a polo shirt!
I'm surprised the choir director didn't put him in back,
but he's not too tall, so was right in front!
The little rebel!  ;)

The choir was able to sing once more at the 8th Grade
Graduation Mass.
Last night, the Choir Director
sang at the Graduation.

One of the things I love about 7th grade girls is that they
don't hesitate to give each other big hugs
when they see each other and when they leave again!
It's just the sweetest thing!
The countdown is on . . .
school's out on May 23!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lemon Blueberry Deliciousness!

Oh my word! 
I must share with you all the absolutely most
delicious recipe ever!
I saw my friend Trisha Yearwood 
(yes, it's true, we are friends - she may not realize it though -:))
making this Lemon Blueberry bread a couple weeks ago.
I was running on the treadmill at the time and
then ran to the store to buy the ingredients!

Cooling -- before the lemon glaze was added.
Do you watch food shows on the treadmill?
Doesn't everyone??
I always watch Pioneer Woman and Trisha is on
right after PW on Saturday mornings.
Anywhooo -- she made this bread and it looked so yummy
and relatively easy and
you know I need easy!

With the lemon glaze -- a little taste-testing going on!
On one of our many rainy weekends, I pulled out the recipe 
and got to work!
I love blueberries and lemon so I figured it would be good!
It wasn't good -- it was fabulous, delicious, amazing, out of this world yummy!

Maddy and I both loved it.
Mr. Miata declared it my best effort ever!!
After Maddy and I had one (well, maybe two) slices each, he ate the
remainder -- not immediately -- but over the next day or two. 
He ran to the store and bought more blueberries . . . 
something tells me I will be baking more bread soon!

Although it's called a bread, I think it is more like
coffee cake with that delicious lemon glaze over the top.
Next time I may try to make it as cupcakes or a bundt cake.
So many possibilities!

Here's the recipe (from the Food Network website)
5 tablespoons butter, melted and more for greasing the pan
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced (about 3 tablespoons of each)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans (totally optional)
1 lemon juiced
1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to  350 degrees; grease a 4 x 8 x 2 inch loaf pan
Rinse and then toss the blueberries in 2 tablespoons of the flour and set aside.

Beat together the butter, granulated sugar, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice with an electric mixer.  Sift together the baking powder, 1 tsp salt and remaining 1-1/2 cups flour in medium bowl.  Add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture alternating, beginning and ending with the flour.  Fold in the pecans and blueberries.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes and then onto a wire rack.

For the glaze:  Stir together 2 tablespoons lemon juice with the confectioners' sugar in a small bowl until completely smooth.  Drizzle the glaze over the top of the loaf while it is still warm, allowing it to drip down the sides.  Serve the loaf warm or at room temperature.

Gobble it up!!